Hi, Welcome to Creations by Clio
Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Creations by Clio is an origami jewelry brand creating minimalist, traditional designs in a modern way. It was founded in 2019 with a desire to cherish and share Japanese culture. The brand seeks to elevate traditional craftsmanship and focuses on self empowerment. The creations are inspired by the places Clio has been, the different cultures she has experienced, and the incredible people in her life. Clio is inspired by contemporary design and seeks to fuse this cultural tradition with progressive fashion.
the founding story
The summer after my sophomore year in high school, I lived with a Japanese family as an exchange student in Japan. I attended the local high school there and volunteered at a summer kids camp. Most people couldn't speak much English and I only spoke a little Japanese, but what brought me and the Japanese people closer together was folding paper origami creations. At this time, I was making origami earrings as a hobby. Three years later during my first year at UC Berkeley, I made and sold origami earrings at my sorority’s philanthropy event in order to raise money. Within an hour, almost every single pair had sold out. I started folding more origami pieces at my dorm desk, selling through word-of-mouth around campus. Traditionally I was a fine artist, but since I didn't have the physical space to paint, what I could do was create and design origami earrings at my dorm desk.
After the pandemic hit, I started building out the jewelry brand online. I reconnected with my artistic roots, pursuing a longtime dream of becoming an art entrepreneur. My brand is inspired by my travels abroad, including living in Japan, with a focus on cultural appreciation and understanding. Drawing creativity from my love for hard-core hiking and exploring the outdoors, I also worked to create stickers of my landscape paintings to include with jewelry purchases. The paintings represent my artistic origins, from fine artist to entrepreneur. This shows how art has always been a huge part of my identity, no matter what form.
The origami jewelry that you wear displays a form of traditional beauty of Japanese culture. Art is a way to connect with others even when we have nothing else in common — it is a great unifier. Folding paper origami helped me connect with people in Japan despite hardly knowing the language. I hope to share these surreal experiences with you. Each pair of earrings you wear or gift is handmade with integrity and the highest efforts and always will be. Now that you’re here, please explore what I love to make. See how they look on you and let me know what you think!
one more note...
Since many people ask, before I was an aspiring entrepreneur and origami jewelry creator, I was, and always have been, a fine artist. I love to draw and paint. I have www.cliosmith.me, a personal site where I share about my art. I blogged on there about my ten-month exchange in Germany, an experience which really helped me deepen my awareness of the world, independence, and ability to work and learn from others. This also helped me establish my artistic identity and love for connecting art and culture, as with Creations by Clio.